Facebook has added a couple of new features to its Messenger app today – the ability to insert polls to group chats and suggestions to pay back friends using the built-in payment system in Messenger that Facebook rolled out to everyone in the U.S. in June of last year. While the polls feature is pretty self explanatory in what it offers, the ability to set up a question and propose that question to friends in a group chat for things like where to eat dinner or where to take a trip to for the weekend, the payment suggestions feature has a little more to it.
The payment suggestions, which looks to be called Chat Assist, is built on machine learning (the same technology that powers Messenger's Chatbots) that has the ability to scan messages that are sent back and forth between you and other users, and if anything should come up that mentions a payment and an amount of any kind, Chat Assist will immediately populate the suggestion to pay that person back. Although fairly simple in what is actually offered to the end user, it should still come in handy for those who cover the cost of things once in a while when out with friends or family, especially considering that if Messenger is your main form of communication Chat Assist can help to ensure that it isn't as easy to forget about paying the person back.
When it comes to polls, Facebook says the feature is rolling out to users on both the Android and iOS platforms as of today in the U.S. (Chat Assist is U.S. only as well), although there is no guarantee that it will show up for everyone today. If it is there, the poll option will either be a new icon in the bar of chat features above the keyboard or it will be accessible from the "more" options menu, which should be the three little dots that are at the end of that bar. Making the polls look to be an easy task, with the ability to add multiple options, and after the poll is made and posted to the group chat, anyone inside that chat who has already voted can change their vote if they feel the need. There are some details which Facebook doesn't explain, like the maximum amount of options that can be added to a poll question, but other than that everything else is pretty straightforward. Facebook does not mention at this time when or if these features will be introduced to other regions.